The Three Processors and the Test Setup
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.After this overclocking fiasco began, one of the first things that people wanted to know were the specifics on the processor I used in the review. I apologize for not taking photos earlier and instead using the stock images that AMD supplied me with: at the time I didn’t see the big problem with it AND I had done the same thing on most of my other processor reviews.
But, there will be no such shortage here today. :)
First off, here is a photo of the 2200+ processor that was used in the first Athlon XP 2200+ review last Monday. Click it for an enlarged view where you can see all the product codes.
You can see that this processor is similar to the ones that other reviewers were testing, as it was a week 15 processor.
The next photo is of the two Athlon XP 2100+ processors that I used in testing.
There isn’t much interesting to see in that image, but looking at these next two images, which are close ups of the markings on them, shows an interesting point:
These are both week 18 processors, but what is more interesting than that, is that they were right next to each other (I predict) through the entire fab process. If you look at the numbers in the top right hand corner, you’ll see the left one is 24 and the right one is 25 – and that is all that the processors differ! This will become an important point as our testing goes and for our conclusions.
Next, many of you were asking about how we unlocked the processors in our initial review. I was a bit confused by this, as I simply used the method that has been tried of countless other non-Thoroughbred Athlon XP processors: simply connecting the L1 bridges. Here is the Athlon XP 2200+ processor with a close up on the L1 bridges.
You can see two things here: 1) I’m not very neat when it comes to near-surgical-precision markings on processors and 2) that this is the very same trick that the Athlon XP Palomino’s used. The reviews at Anandtech and HardOCP used the same method as well. The voltages of the processors were bumped up to their maximum (1.85v on the Gigabyte board) and the memory voltage was increased to get the best stability too. The memory settings on the boards were set to aggressive, but that shouldn’t really concern the processor very much as the Corsair XMS3000 we were using was rated very high.
Finally, here are a couple pictures of the system setup in its entirety. Notice the Vantec CCK-640 heatsink and fan as our only cooling. Also, in case you are wondering what that stand is that the test system is on: it’s the Senfu DIY case that Plycon sent to Amdmb.com. They are very nice for those of you that are constantly tweaking or changing parts.